Red, White & Blue Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's no secret that I have the biggest sweet tooth! Always have, and I'm pretty certain I always will. I also love when I can dress things up and make them festive for holidays and such so this red, white and blue trifle is right up my alley.

Someone made this once at a baby shower I attended and it was not only delicious, but refreshing and lighter as well! It's so easy and really is another one of my go-to "don't really need a recipe for" kind of thing.
| Angel Food Cake (Store bought or pre-made)
| Cheesecake Pudding
| Fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries + blueberries)

Prepare the pudding as directed and allow time for it to set up. I then break the angel food cake into pieces and simply layer, followed by a layer of the cheesecake pudding and berries. Repeat for at least 2 layers. I try and place the berries especially around the edges so you can see them through the layers better when finished.

That's it! I will say that the cheesecake flavored pudding is what sets it off, but I'm sure if that's not your thing you could use vanilla or even banana flavored pudding!

I have made this on several occasions and it's always a hit! I love that it can easily be thrown together and doesn't require a ton of prep. Try it out and let me know what you think!

A Lovely Weekend Review

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last week was a whirlwind...but this weekend was absolutely what I needed to decompress and recharge.

Saturday morning we slept in (hallelujah) and woke up slow. Shorty after, we got a call to meet my in-laws at the farmer's market and then go to breakfast. It was my our first time at this one, and we scored so many delicious things including peaches, tomatoes, figs and fresh sunflowers although I was most excited about the Orland Creamery and picking up some of their local cheeses! I've basically been eating it on everything now...

After breakfast, I was planning on staying home to get caught up around the house and continue to work on painting my cabinets, but the more I thought about it I decided all of that can wait. It would be there when I got home, and sometimes you just gotta' go have fun. BEST DECISION. So we loaded up the jeep and met up with some of our friends to head up the canyon to swim. I've actually never been here, but it's something Ryan and his friends have grown up doing so I was excited to go. My sister ended up going too, and my parents decided to take a drive and meet us all, so it turned out to be an unexpected fun and family day. We swam, we laughed, we jumped off rocks, we dove for crawdads, we laughed some more, and we picked wild blackberries.
After getting way too much sun (even with our sunscreen on!) we headed home, whipped up some BLT's with our farmer's market goodies, watched a movie together and called it a night. Wild Saturday night, but our idea of a perfect one.

Repeat for Sunday; we slept in again! After coffee, we decided to head over and do some shopping and pick up the rest of my painting supplies at Sherwin Williams. We stopped at Costco for a "few" things that turned into a car full of things, but we had the best time. There's just something about doing mundane things like grocery shopping and running errands with Ryan that makes them feel that much more fun and dare I say enjoyable. I was also thrilled because I found a new accent chair at Costco for an absolute steal and it matches our couches PERFECT! It's beautiful and comfortable and it was meant to be ;)

When we got back, we did some of those dreaded chores (but only the inside ones because it was sweltering hot outside), prepped for our work week and called it a day. We both kept saying how wonderful of a weekend it was together. For us, being surrounded by and spending time with our parents, my sister, cousin, & friends that are like family is all we ever really need. This world is a pretty crazy place and even crazier when I sit down and think about how sometimes it feels like it's all happening at once, but then I realize I'm pretty darn lucky and sometimes you just have to let go of the rest. Life is just better together.
I hope you all found yourself refreshed after a never-long-enough weekend and are ready to take on another week!

5 on Friday {Pineapple Vibes}

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tonight I am headed to the lake to celebrate one of my dearest friend's birthday! Her birthday is a pineapple themed party which I LOVE so much! Truth be told, if this weren't the theme for her party, you can bet I'd be having myself one. Pineapples are everywhere you turn so planning a party around one is genius. Also, come on, they taste delicious, are so versatile, colorful and just embody summer to me! Who doesn't love pineapple?!

1 | I'm brining a couple drinks to share because duh, can't decide. I was picking up some champs and stumbled across a Barefoot Bubbly Pineapple version! (I couldn't locate the exact one online.) It was even on sale so I grabbed two :) Have you tried it? It's the first time I've seen it and looks like it will be so refreshing.
Tropical Fusion Bubbly

2 | Lately if I am going to drink there's nothing I like more than a Moscow Mule so I decided to pick up some pineapple vodka and do a tropical twist on the original.
Delicious and simple, Pineapple Mule cocktail recipe
3 | Pineapple goes with so many things! I think these recipes look so fun & yum to try. How delicious does this pineapple guacamole sound? SIGN. ME. UP.

Pineapple Guacamole Recipe -- all of the goodness of this classic dip, sweetened up with some fresh pineapple! |
Via Gimme Some Oven
Also, I've heard about these pineapple bowls people are making. I think I need to try this!

Divide the chicken between the two pineapple boats, and serve with a scoop of rice!
4 | I stumbled across some pineapple sunglasses at the Dollar Tree so had to include those, too. I can't wait for the birthday girl to rock them!
Image result for pineapple sunglasses
5 | And last but not least...

Be a pineapple :):
Via Pinterest
Happy Friday & weekending!
Linking with the Five on Friday + Oh Hey, Friday Gals!

Showering Baby Jaxon [A Woodland Themed Baby Shower]

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Saturday, I helped host a woodland themed shower for Baby Jaxon! I am so excited for Dak & Kayla as they begin their greatest adventure yet-becoming parents! I remember when Dakota was born and being there as he grew up. It is going to be so fun to now watch him become a Dad and be there while his little one grows as well. Come August, I will be an Auntie once again! Bring on all of the newborn snuggles...

Anyways, the idea was to have a co-ed baby shower for Mom and Dad-to-be, but with Dak's new firefighting schedule, these things do not always go as planned. He was on a fire so was unfortunately not able to be there for the festivities. I made sure to document as much as possible so he can still see what a beautiful day it turned out to be although he was greatly missed!
The lovely Grandmas with Mama-to-Be
 We kept the food simple and light and served chicken salad croissants, crackers, dips and fresh fruit. We also served "pond punch" which looked so legit that I think people were probably nervous to drink it and "morning dew" water. For dessert I made the owl cupcakes. So easy and fun!
The guys who did come were all first timers to baby showers and it was hilarious to watch them interact and participate in the games! I had a late night diaper station set up, made a printable of baby predictions + advice, and then played the name the baby animal game. My dear and darling husband took it upon himself to write "winner" on his and I died laughing. I also loved reading what everyone wrote on the diapers!
 My other little nephew just soaking in the last few weeks of being the only baby boy in the family. That face melts me into a puddle!
Mama-to-be was absolutely glowing and I enjoyed being able to help plan and organize the party because we all know I love an excuse to throw a party! The best part was they were showered with lots of love and much needed items, so now the official wait is on for baby to join us and then the real fun begins!

Welcome to July (1st week wrap up)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Oh hi, July! Well can I just say June officially flew by. I just thought I'd do a quick wrap up of what we've been up to already in July because between birthdays, baby showers and a few house improvements we're working on, this month is sure to pass just as quickly.

This time thing has just really got me lately. Could ya' slow down a bit?! Anyways, next month is my Birthday month and I'm getting pretty excited about a little party that's in the works.

We kicked off the beginning of the month celebrating Ryan's Aunt's 70th in Sonoma. It was an absolutely amazing weekend spent with lots of family we don't see as often as we'd like, plus we were literally in the heart of wine country and altogether so what more could you ask for? The house his cousin rented for the festivities was unlike anything I've ever seen. We reminisced around the fire pit, enjoyed fresh pizza from the Pizza Politana, played badminton, swam entirely too long in the sun, visited some wineries and basically laughed until our stomachs hurt. I'll always remember that weekend!
Me with some of the other Mac gals. This was at my favorite winery we visited; Imagery Estate Winery!
One morning my MIL and I took a little road trip to check out a furniture store she had been wanting to show me and wouldn't you know they were closed for inventory? Of ALL times! On our way back to the house we stumbled across Cornerstone Sonoma with lots of shops, eats, a garden, and neat things to see and do like this wishing garden! You can bet I made a few good wishes! I love spending time with her and all the random things stumble across even when things don't go as planned. Those are some of our best memories together.
We returned home Sunday evening after dropping his cousins at the airport. We stopped at The Melting Pot to celebrate our anniversary since we had been wanting to try it then headed home to some ecstatic puppies. Right now, there is nothing better than coming home to those dogs. Pure happiness when they see us and relief they get to come inside too, let's be honest. 

We spent the 4th celebrating at my parent's pool. Luckily we live in the same neighborhood and when it's as hot as it is here day in and day out, it comes in handy having it so close! 

My Mom made a killer taco salad bar, but my Sister insisted it just wasn't American if we didn't have hot dogs too! Haha! I made a festive red, white and blue berry & angel food cake trifle and Neopalatin ice cream pops. In true American fashion, we made entirely too much food. God Bless America!
And yes, I made everyone wear a festive headband or hat for the picture and they happily did. Don't they look miserable though?!

Another busy summer weekend is coming up for us! I'm hoping to test out some paint samples (SW Repose Gray and SW Mindful Gray) I picked up for the house and hopefully come to a decision! Wish me luck...

A Firefighter Graduation & Party

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Taking a little detour from all the cruise talk and wanted to share about a very special graduation and also the fun party I helped with before the next big event rolls around. So quickly time passes by, especially this time of year it seems...

Recently my little brother graduated from the Fire Academy and my big sister heart was so proud it could have burst! These family friends of ours are truly like family and I have been so lucky to grow up not only with the boys who are the brothers I never had and always wanted, but also another set of parents who just absolutely rock!

This graduation was so special and I know the hours, stress, worry, sweat and most of all HEART that went into Dak graduating from this elite 19 week program. And let's be honest, not just on his part but on all of us here supporting him too! I knew he would complete the program, but I knew it wouldn't be easy. I am happy to report his dedication and hard work week after week paid off as he walked across that stage. And even happier to report that he was hired on with Cal-Fire!

I'm definitely one of those people who are all about the Pomp & Circumstance! There is something about traditions and ceremonies that honor firefighters especially that gives me the absolute goosebumps. From the bagpipes and the honor guard presenting the flag, to the bell ringing and the overall feeling of respect in the room, I was beaming with pride that he is now a part of it all. Although it was made very clear at graduation that his becoming a firefighter means he has just gained a whole new firefighting family, I kept reminding him that I hope that doesn't make us second now. Haha...
Anyways, I am so proud of you, Dak and I loved celebrating all that you have accomplished. Of course in true Lindsay fashion, I couldn't help myself and help his Mama throw one heck of a party to celebrate him!
To help kickstart his graduation, I set up a fill the boot station using one of his training boots! I made the poem in Picmonkey and framed it! The hats were ordered on Amazon and most of the other stuff was my favorite-things I already owned!
The amount hours of studying and testing is insane! When he showed me his stack of flashcards I just knew I had to incorporate them into the decorating somehow. I filled a couple lanterns with them and strung them throughout the party on twine and there were still stacks left!
I had to make his gift fire-themed too, duh! I gave him a bottle of fireball, some hot tamales and also a fire-themed cd! It was hilarious and the soundtrack of the night (until we played it so many times I think the entire party knew every song on there!)
It turned out to be the perfect day and we all had a blast celebrating him! It still seems like yesterday when I was babysitting him, but I couldn't be more proud of the young man he is today. Watching him accomplish this dream and also knowing that he has found his passion in life absolutely is worth celebrating!

And also, no matter how old he gets, he's always going to stay my 'little' brother!